The Doctor Who Companion - The Twelfth Doctor: Volume TwoBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The Doctor Who Companion The Twelfth Doctor: Volume Two (Credit: Panini)Doctor Who Magazine continues its in-depth chronicle of the show’s production with a 100-page volume dedicated to four memorable episodes of Series 8 starring Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald:


  • Time Heist 
  • The Caretaker
  • Kill the Moon
  • Mummy on the Orient Express 


 Andrew Pixley’s unparalleled behind-the-scenes coverage – originally presented in the partwork Doctor Who: The Complete History and now revised and reproduced in magazine format for the first time – examines every aspect of the stories’ development, from scripting through to transmission and beyond.

 Richly illustrated with rare images, this is the essential guide to the series that took Doctor Who in a remarkable new direction.

Available from WH Smith from Wednesday 16 October 2019 priced £7.99 and digitally from pocketmags.com priced £6.99.

Please note that this publication is not available as part of a subscription to Doctor Who Magazine.




Terrance Dicks 1935-2019Bookmark and Share

Monday, 2 September 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Terrance DicksOne of Doctor Who's most influential writers Terrance Dicks has died at the age of 84.

Terrance Dicks's contribution to Doctor Who was immense. He wrote forty-five episodes of the series between 1969 and 1983 and was script editor from 1969 until 1975, steering the programme through one of its most successful periods, helping to cast both the third and fourth Doctors.

For a whole generation of fans, he was the man who brought the series to life through his Target novelisations. In the days before DVD's and Videos, the only way of reliving old episodes was through the Target books. Over 60 were written by Dicks and they enabled fans to experience stories shown years before many were born.

Terrance Dicks was born in East London shortly before the second world war. He studied English at the University of Cambridge before serving for two years in the British Army. On his discharge, he won his first writing job working as an advertising copywriter before writing radio play scripts for the BBC.

It was his friend and mentor Malcolm Hulke who got him his first job in television, helping with the scripting on the first series if the ITV adventure series The Avengers. He would later return the favour by commissioning scripts from Hulke for Doctor Who.

His work on Doctor Who began in 1968 as assistant script editor, rewriting much of the Brian Hayes story The Seeds of Death. Promotion followed and he was charged with writing out the second Doctor with the epic 10 part series The War Games.

In 1970 a new producer Barry Letts was appointed and thus began one of the highest regarded partnerships in the whole series run. Together they guided the series for five years, one of its most successful periods. Both men left the series at the same time as Jon Pertwee but not before casting the unknown Tom Baker as Doctor number 4.

His commitment to the series didn't end with the third Doctor. He wrote several more stories including The Brain of Morbius, Horror of Fang Rock and State of Decay. In 1983 he penned the 20th-anniversary story The Five Doctor's, the last script he completed for the television series.

He wrote two Doctor Who plays, Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday in 1974 and Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure in 1989.

Away from Doctor Who he co-created the short-lived BBC science-fiction TV series Moonbase 3 and wrote for the ATV science-fiction series Space: 1999. He served once more as script editor to producer Barry Letts on the BBC's Sunday Classics strand, before succeeding Letts as the producer overseeing productions such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Vanity Fair.

Tributes to Dicks have been paid from many associated with Doctor Who including current showrunner Chris Chibnall
The lights of Doctor Who are dimmer tonight, with the passing of Terrance Dicks. He was one of the greatest contributors to Doctor Who’s history, on screen and off. As writer and script editor, he was responsible for some of the show’s greatest moments and iconic creations. As the most prolific and brilliant adaptor of Doctor Who stories into Target novels, he was responsible for a range of books that taught a generation of children, myself included, how pleasurable and accessible and thrilling reading could be. Doctor Who was lucky to have his talents. He will always be a legend of the show. Everyone working on Doctor Who sends his family and friends our love and condolences at this difficult time.




Glyn Houston 1925-2019Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 4 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Glyn Houston has died at the age of 93.

Glyn Houston appeared in two Doctor Who stories. In 1976 he played Professor Watson, the director of the Nunton Experimental Complex, in the Fourth Doctor story The Hand of Fear.

In he came up against the fifth Doctor playing Colonel Wolsey in the 1984 story The Awakening.

Glyn Houston had over 200 television credits dating back to the 1950s, appearing in some of the most loved programmes in British TV history.

Houston was born in Rhondda, in the Welsh Valleys, and brought up by his Widowed Grandmother, after his Mother died young and his Father disappeared.

He served in the Royal Signal Regiment during World War II and was briefly a stand-up comedian performing to soldiers. He made his first film appearance playing a barrow boy in The Blue Lamp in 1950. In the 1970s he played Lord Peter Wimsey's valet Bunter opposite Ian Carmichael in the teleplays of several of Dorothy Sayers tales. He played Ronald Judge in The Sherman Plays and Bernard Ingham in Thatcher: The Final Days.

Other appearances include Better Days, Inspector Morse, Keep It in the Family, Minder, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, The Sea Wolves, Breakaway, Shoestring, A Horseman Riding By, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, Target, The XYY Man, Robin's Nest, Are You Being Served? , Beasts, Five Red Herrings, The Nine Tailors, Dixon of Dock Green, Sporting Scenes, Reg Varney, Jackanory, Clouds of Witness, Z Cars, Softly, Softly: Task Force.

Glyn Houston was the younger brother of film star Donald Houston and was a close friend of fellow Welsh actors Richard Burton and Stanley Baker. In 2009 he was presented with the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award.

His friend and biographer Dean Powell announced his death with deep regret.
He was kind, generous and an incredibly funny man who was a pleasure to know for over twenty years.

He enjoyed his career and was proud of his achievements and although I think he genuinely wanted to be a comic more than an actor, his vast quantity of work will remain a great legacy to the man and his natural talent.

Glyn enjoyed life, his family and his hobbies and didn’t let work get in the way of that. He always had time to speak to you, showed a genuine interest in other people’s lives.

Although he left the South Wales valleys seven decades ago, he had all of the great qualities of a working-class Welshman at heart.




The Faceless Ones - New Animated ReleaseBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 4 June 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Faceless Ones (Credit: BBC Studios)
BBC Studios has announced that The Faceless Ones will be the next animated Doctor Who release.

The release follows the success of The Power of the Daleks, Shada and The Macra Terror. The Faceless Ones will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and as an exclusive steelbook next year.

The Faceless Ones is the mostly missing eighth serial of the fourth season in Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from April to May 1967. Starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, the story concerns a race of identity-stealing aliens known as the Chameleons.

The story is the last to feature Michael Craze as Ben and Anneke Wills as Polly.

Only two of the six episodes are held in the BBC film archives with snippets of footage and still images existing from the other four. Off-air recordings of the soundtrack also still exist, making the animation of a complete serial possible once again.

The six new animated episodes are being made in full colour and high definition and will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in 2020. The DVD/Blu-ray release will also include surviving archive material from the original 1967 production.

The Faceless Ones is available for preorder as Blu-Ray, DVD and Steelbook.





Paul Darrow 1941-2019Bookmark and Share

Monday, 3 June 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Paul Darrow
The actor Paul Darrow has died at the age of 78.

Paul Darrow is best known for playing freedom fighter Kerr Avon in the Terry Nation series Blake's 7. He appeared in two Doctor Who stories, Doctor Who And The Silurians in 1970 and Timelash in 1985.

Paul Darrow was born in Surrey. After leaving school he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first professional performances were with the Bristol Old Vic.

In the 1960's he made his television debut in the series The Odd Man. A regular role in Emergency-Ward 10 followed, where he met his future wife Janet Lees-Price.

He appeared in Coronation Street, The Newcomers, The Flaxton Boys, Murder Must Advertise, Within These Walls and The Legend of Robin Hood where he played the Sheriff of Nottingham. In 1970 he had his first role in Doctor Who playing Captain Hawkins a UNIT officer helping the Third Doctor fight the Silurians.

The role for which he will always be remembered was as Kerr Avon, the amoral computer genius who was thrown together with the idealistic Roj Blake and found himself a freedom fighter taking on the corrupt Federation. Such was his presence in the role that Avon soon developed into the major character in the series, When actor Gareth Thomas left, Darrow's character assumed command. He appeared in all but the first episode, with the series finishing in dramatic style with Darrow's face being the last image seen on screen.

He returned to Doctor Who in 1985 playing Malin Tekker, a controversial performance with Darrow playing the part in the manner of Richard III.

He continued working with long-running roles in Emmerdale and Law & Order: UK, but in late 2014, he suffered an aortic aneurysm. Over the next few months, health complications meant he lost both of his legs.

Speaking to the BBC, Darrow’s friend and Personal Assistant Maureen Marrs, said:
Over three decades I have been Paul’s confidante and have had the immense privilege of being part of his life. A star has gone out today; the world will be a darker place without him.
Paul Darrow died early on the morning of the 3rd June after a short ilness.




Classic DVD titles to be re-released by BBC Shop in USABookmark and Share

Sunday, 2 June 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
A number of DVD titles that have been unavailable in the United States are to have "made-on-demand" re-releases via the BBC Shop.

The first batch of five titles consist of The Time Meddler, The Krotons, The Three Doctors (special edition), Planet Of The Spiders and The Sun Makers, and are released on the 25th June:

The Time Meddler (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) The Krotons (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) The Three Doctors Special Edition (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) Planet Of The Spiders (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) The Sun Makers (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop)

The next batch of five follow a couple of weeks later on 9th July, consisting of The Invasion of Time, Frontios, The Mark Of The Rani, The Happiness Patrol and The TV Movie special edition:

The Invasion Of Time (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) Frontios (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) The Mark Of The Rani (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) The Happiness Patrol (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop) The TV Movie Special Edition (R1 DVD) (Credit: BBC Shop)

The titles can be pre-ordered now via the BBC Shop by clicking on their relative image above.

Note: all titles are DVD R1 (North America).

With Thanks To: Christopher Graewin




Return of the JudoonBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 21 May 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Judoon Captain, The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (James Pardon))When Jodie Whittaker returns to Doctor Who next series, the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends won’t be the only familiar faces. The show, currently filming, is set to welcome back The Judoon as one of the Doctor’s fearsome adversaries.

More than twelve years after they stampeded onto screens to terrorise the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones on the moon in 2007’s “Smith and Jones", the rhino-headed, brutish intergalactic police are returning to cause havoc and thrill children and adults alike.

These ruthless enforcers are on a deadly mission: but what for? And why has it brought them to present-day Gloucester?

Neil StukeThe episode will also star acclaimed actor Neil Stuke.

Stuke has an established career on stage, television and films, and is a two times BAFTA nominee. Stuke’s recent credits include Doctor Foster, Silk and Silent Witness.
Chris Chibnall, Showrunner said
No! Sho! Blo! The Judoon are storming back into Doctor Who in full force, and the streets of Gloucester aren’t safe. If anyone has anything to hide, confess now. The Judoon are taking no prisoners, and will stop at nothing to fulfil their mission! The whole team on Doctor Who are delighted and scared in equal measure to welcome them back: one of many treats we’ve got in store for viewers next series. And we’re over the moon (with Judoon), to be welcoming the wondrous Neil Stuke as guest star. We can’t wait to show you what happens when his path crosses with the Thirteenth Doctor.
Judoon Captain, The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) (Credit: BBC Studios (James Pardon))




Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook announcedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Studios have announced the forthcoming release of Doctor Who's Fourth series of adventures in the 21st Century in a Blu-ray Steelbook:

Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook (cover) (Credit: BBC Studios)Re-live the action of David Tennant’s final season as the Doctor in Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series on Steelbook Blu-ray, with new and exclusive artwork.

Series Four marked the arrival of the award-winning actor Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show) as the Doctor’s new companion, Donna Noble.

The Doctor and Donna travel back to Pompeii on the eve of the infamous eruption where people are slowly turning to stone, investigate a series of grisly murders with the help of Agatha Christie, journey to the home world of the sinister Ood and come face to face with an old enemy of the Doctor.

Series Four sees the return of previous companions – Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) plus an array of guest cast including Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley), Felicity Kendal (Inside No.9), Fenella Woolgar (Call the Midwife), Tim McInnerny (Game of Thrones), Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, Fallen Angel, Skins - and of course as a future Doctor himself!), Phil Davis (Vera Drake) and Tracey Childs (Broadchurch).

Bonus features exclusive to the release include Doctor Who Confidential, video diaries, commentaries, Children In Need ‘Time Crash’, plus teasers, trailers and deleted scenes.

Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook (front cover) (Credit: BBC Studios) Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook (back cover) (Credit: BBC Studios)

The steelbook is due to be released on 27th May 2019, and is available to pre-order in the UK from Amazon.




Doctor Who Nominated for Must-See MomentBookmark and Share

Friday, 29 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has been nominated for a BAFTA award as the Must See moment on television in 2018.

The episode Rosa has been nominated for its portrayal of the moment in history when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The episode won plaudits when first shown last year.

The episode is competing against The Bodyguard, where Julia Montague was assassinated, Coronation Street and Gail’s monologue on the suicide of Aidan Connor, Killing Eve where Eve stabs Villanelle and the finale of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

The award will be presented at the Virgin Media BAFTAs on 1st May. It’s the only award voted for by the public, celebrating the massive television moments that got the whole country talking.

For more details and to vote view the Virgin Media website
Rosa Parks, the Doctor and her companions make sure historical moments remain

After paying her bus fare, the driver stops Rosa walking through the bus towards the ‘coloured’ section, telling her to use the rear door. As she’s leaving, Rosa momentarily sits in a ‘white’ seat to pick her purse. Once she’s disembarked, the bus pulls away before she’s able to re-enter.
Virgin Media's Must-See Moment Nominee: Doctor Who




Who Talk - March ReleasesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 3 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
This month's Who Talk releases feature the legendary Daleks and the reptilian Ice Warriors.

Mars Attacks (Credit: Fantom Films)First up is a new selection of commentaries for stories featuring the Ice Warriors, in the form of Mars Attacks!

Producer Paul W.T. Ballard explains
I literally couldn’t resist the title, even though I’m sure a lot of people will groan. This is the first time we have released a new series commentary track, and we were thrilled to be joined by Adele Lynch and Richard Ashton, who are the most recent Ice Warriors, to have a look at the Peter Capaldi episode The Empress of Mars, little over a year after it was first broadcast.

Such is the way of recording these things, as Adele and Richard were leaving the studio, Wendy Gifford was coming in, and we shot back fifty years to look at the very first appearance of the Martian invaders!
Rounding off the set are commentaries for episodes two and five of The Seeds of Death, with guest star Louise Pajo.

Louise was over on a rare visit from Down Under, so we took the opportunity to grab her for a commentary track. She isn’t featured on any of the BBC releases, and is a very outspoken commentator… especially when it comes to Miss Kelly’s ‘three balls’…!”
Mars Attacks! is moderated by Toby Hadoke, and features Wendy Gifford, Louise Pajo, Adele Lynch and Richard Ashton.

Resurrection (Credit: Fantom Films)The second release this month comes in the form of 1980’s Dalek blockbuster Resurrection of the Daleks.

I think Resurrection is one of those stories which has such a vast and dynamic cast, that there was plenty of scope to invite people who hadn’t spoken about it before. Amongst those joining us are Sneh Gupta, who fitted us in on a quick UK trip, and Rula Lenska, who had some choice words to say about her outfit… but I won’t spoil it. I also won’t reveal which contributor wore their Dalek socks especially for the recording!
Mark Strickson makes his Who Talk debut on the special edition of Resurrection.

As is a seemingly a theme with these two releases, Mark was working in the UK and we obviously made him sit through a variety of his episodes on his day off. For this release we get to hear his thoughts on Resurrection and Frontios, and discover which guest star he snuck into the TOTP studio to have a dance to Karma Chameleon with!
Resurrection is moderated by Toby Hadoke, and features Rula Lenska, Jim Findley, Sneh Gupta, William Sleigh, Brian Miller, Roger Davenport, Mike Mungarvan and Eric Saward, and the special edition also features Mark Strickson.

Please note: these commentaries contain no BBC copyrighted elements and do not feature audio from the episodes themselves - these are designed to be played alongside the official DVD releases.




John Levene Autobiography ReleasedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Run the Shadows, Walk the Sun (Credit: Fantom Publishing)Fantom Publishing have released the much-anticipated autobiography from John Levene, best known for playing Sgt. Benton in Doctor Who.

He has had a few names during his many lives, but the one for which he is best known is John Levene, the self-taught actor who brought to life the much-loved Benton in Doctor Who. Yet, his journey to our TV screens was hard and frequently painful, and what came afterwards was just as traumatic.

This is the emotional and truthful account of a life that should not have been lived. We follow the pure highs and brutal lows of a working-class Salisbury lad, and his struggle to get away from his origins as an ill, under-educated and misunderstood boy with no genuine prospects in a world in which he did not fit. His journey takes him to places like London’s West End as a private detective; Paris, Spain and Africa where he organised spectacular events. Then crossing the globe to South America to witness the enormous gulf between rich and poor, before moving to Hollywood and daring to dream of success.

Run the Shadows, Walk the Sun demonstrates that your life is not automatically set out for you when you are born. There are opportunities to be grasped if only you have the courage to take them.
The autobiography, written with Michael Seely, is printed in hardback priced £19.99. The book is available exclusively from Fantom Publishing until it's trade release in April.

All website orders will be signed by the author.




Rosa Wins Visionary Arts AwardBookmark and Share

Saturday, 9 February 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Malorie Blackman / Chris ChibnallThe Doctor Who episode Rosa has been awarded the Visionary Arts Organisation Award for Television Show of the Year.

The new awarda are given to celebrate culture, media and entertainment that have made a positive social impact via film, television, music, theatre, literature, radio/online and grassroots community.

Rosa, the third Doctor Who episode starring Jodie Whittaker as the Thirtenth Doctor, featured Vinette Robinson as the American civil rights icon Rosa Parks, who changed history when she refused to relinquish her seat in the colored section of a Bus to a white passenger.

The episode, written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall won plaudits on its transmission last October. The writers were there to accept the award this evening at a ceremony at BAFTA in London.

Malorie Blackman wrote on twitter.
What a lovely birthday present! Chris Chibnall and I won a Visionary Honours award at BAFTA this evening for Doctor Who - Rosa. I love my job! Thanks to all those who voted for us.
The episode beat Save Me, Kiri, First Dates, Eastenders and There She Goes to win the award.

The Visionary Arts Organisation and Visionary Honours were founded by Adrian Grant, creator of the hit Michael Jackson musical, Thriller Live. It is his goal to see a more unified peaceful society that works together to create diverse opportunities, break down barriers, and allow young people to dream, achieve and succeed.

Grant said
The Visionary Honours are not about awarding egos or fame. They are about recognising culture, media and entertainment that has inspired, created awareness and advocated social change. Through the Visionary Arts Organisation, it is my long-term goal to inspire creatives to produce work that can make a positive difference.




Doctor Who in iPlayer Top TenBookmark and Share

Thursday, 31 January 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who was the fourth most popular show on the BBC iPlayer in 2018, according to figures released by the corporation.

Jodie Whittaker's debut The Woman Who Fell to Earth had nearly four million requests on the online platform.

The most popular show of the year was Bodyguard, with the first episode becoming BBC iPlayer’s biggest ever programme, with 10.8 million requests across the year. All six episodes of the drama appear in iPlayer’s top ten programmes of the year. Hit Killing Eve came a close second with 9.2m requests for episode one, followed by global thriller McMafia, with 4.7m requests.

Overall in 2018 3.6 billion programmes were requested on iPlayer throughout the year.

1 Bodyguard Episode 1 10,842,000
2 Killing Eve Nice Face 9,235,000
3 McMafia Episode 1 4,741,000
4 Doctor Who The Woman Who Fell to Earth 3,965,000
5 Keeping Faith Episode 1 3,927,000
6 The Cry Episode 1 3,496,000
7 Dynasties Chimpanzee 3,447,000
8 Our Girl Nigeria, Belize & Bangladesh Tours - Episode 1 3,422,000
9 Bing Show 3,177,000
10 MOTD Live Sweden v England 3,153,000




The Black Archive - Love & MonstersBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 January 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The Black Archive - Love & Monsters (Credit: Obverse Books)Obverse books have released the latest in their series of Black Archive books, looking in detail at the making of the Tenth Doctor Doctor Who story Love & Monsters.

The 2006 story was the first "Doctor Lite" story and recieved a mixed reaction when first shown. In the Black Archive Niki Haringsma investigates the background of the story.
‘Let me tell you something about those who get left behind.’

Russell T Davies’ tale of regular people searching for the Doctor has become one of the most divisive episodes in Doctor Who history. Diving into the narrative theories of Bertolt Brecht, Viktor Shklovsky, Henry Jenkins, Stuart Hall and many others, this Black Archive on Love & Monsters explores how one profoundly alienating story made us see our favourite alien time traveller in a whole new light.
To order visit Obverse Books.